Earthzine Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020

Mission: Earthzine serves as public outreach by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society. Liquid water is essential for life and the Oceans, where life began, are a vital part of Earth’s life support system. Earthzine aims to provide up-to-date information on science, technology, Earth/Ocean observation and information utilization and those participating and contributing to it’s advancement.


  • To provide up to date information about developments in Earth Observation and the world around us
  • To facilitate connections between Earth-observing professionals, researchers and academia, and the general public;
  • To foster community among the diverse group of Earth observers and Earth-information users while providing a pathway that leads to a more informed public;
  • To provide a means to understand the impact of Earth observation and utilization of Earth information on societal issues;
  • To enable cross-discipline and cross-regional sharing of knowledge and ideas.
  • To inspire the next generation of scientists to take up a career of researching and caring for our planet.

Philosophy: Improve communication by sharing information between the international and interdisciplinary community of Earth observers and those who use the information for societal and business management. Provide content that:

  • Is up-to-date and relevant;
  • Informs the expert yet is accessible to the non-specialist;
  • Appeals to and educates the general population;
  • Attracts readers to visit Earthzine on a regular basis;
  • Makes a unique contribution through focused thematic content;
  • Inspires and leads readers to further investigate and discover the wonders of Earth;
  • Responds and adapts to reader feedback and usage;
  • Includes core features such as Original Articles, Interviews, and Syndicated News;
  • Supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015, with a specific focus on Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 14 Life Below Water.


  • To publish peer-reviewed articles covering each of the Sustainable Development Goals, Earth Observing technologies, applications of Earth information, and sustainability;
  • To provide a channel for professionals, researchers and academia to facilitate science communication and outreach to the general public;
  • To provide coverage of regional issues;
  • To increase readership through partnering with complementary organizations that allow information exchange across disciplines (for example, between providers of Earth data and potential users within the project management community);
  • To increase participation of volunteer staff in management and content development.

Audience: Earthzine primarily serves three sources of readership: (1) Professional and technical readers; (2) users and potential users of Earth information in governments, industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations; and (3) the general public seeking reliable Earth information.



  • Increase use and development of custom graphics, maps, and video to accompany and enrich published articles;
  • Publish monthly “mini themes” focused on specific timely subjects;
  • Expand coverage of “science and engineering as a human endeavor,” with personal stories on how Earth observations and utilization of Earth information impact people on a social and personal level;
  • Expand coverage of ocean-related news and research, Societal Benefit Areas, and climate and location-based stories centering around human impacts;
  • Add new features to redesigned website, including daily images and near-real-time Earth information from other agencies and content providers;
  • Continue to improve access to Earthzine’s content through, for example, search engine optimization and improvements to site speed and loading times;

Reader Engagement

  • Increase traffic and newsletter subscribers;
  • Increase visibility through the use of social media, feeds, advertisements, and announcements in Earthzine and other media;
  • Complete an updated survey of readers; document and respond to feedback;

Student Involvement

  • Establish a “writing club” as an extension of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society OCEANS student poster competition; Earthzine Associate Editors will guide students and young professionals in preparing original articles for submission and publication;
  • Continue to increase student submissions through focused content and competitions;

Volunteers and Staffing

  • Establish guidelines and criteria for volunteer positions (all positions are volunteer);

Funding, Sponsorship, and IEEE Relations

  • Expand the resource base to cover costs associated with Earthzine through article publication fees for non-OES members, donations, grants and sponsorship from new organizations;
  • Publication fees for non-OES members will be $25 submission, $25 for one round of editing and publication, and additional fees in cases where extensive editing is needed
  • Improve alignment with IEEE by more effectively leveraging its membership and society resources;
  • Acquire Digital Object Identifier (DOI) registration through IEEE;

Earthzine Content: Earthzine aims to publish submissions that contain positive, respectful, informative and thought-provoking content about the benefits of using Earth information in our daily lives through the Earthzine online magazine. Articles will be publicized through social media, feeds and outside channels.

Articles will be submitted by IEEE OES members as well as non-member professionals and organizations. For additional information refer to Writer Guidelines, and Editorial Policy.

  • Original Articles: General interest and theme-based articles from contributions submitted by volunteer editorial staff, IEEE OES members, and non-member professionals and organizations. Original articles comprise the unique contextual contribution of Earthzine and serve to bridge the technical, expert and non-specialist in identified areas of societal needs.
  • Syndicated articles: Environmental news that highlights the role of earth observation in supporting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation and Goal 14 Life Below Water.
  • Quick Looks and multimedia: Brief descriptions and videos of Earth and Earth observing activities.
  • IEEE OES News: Updates of the latest developments from IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society.
  • Student Opportunities: Virtual Poster Sessions, Essay and Video competitions.
  • People: Interviews, biographies, and brief notes about Earth observers.
  • Reviews: Reviews of the latest books, websites, and multimedia related to the Earth observations.
  • Op-Ed: Columns from the Earthzine volunteer staff and volunteer Guest Editors, along with opinion pieces submitted by readers and contributors.
  • Images of Note: Solicit submissions from IEEE OES members and audience for the images that portray the beauty and complexity of Earth observations.
  • Events: Updated continuously with the latest in conferences, workshops, experiments, and Earth events.
  • Resources: Extensive list of websites with brief descriptions that are grouped and cross-referenced by theme.

Publication Schedule: As a Web-based publication, there is continuous updating that occurs on different temporal scales:

  • Syndicated Articles from around the world are posted regularly;
  • Original Articles are published weekly;
  • Themes timed with the seasons comprise articles, reprints, editorials, opinions and resources centered about a common theme;
  • Newsletters are sent to Earthzine subscribers on the full moon and to contributors and stakeholders on the new moon.

Organizational Structure

Board of Directors: Comprised of representatives from the IEEE, External Advisors and Editor-in-Chief

  • Provides direction and guidance in all aspects of Earthzine;
  • Elects Editor-in-Chief;
  • Works with the Editor-in-Chief, content managers and Editors to plan, develop and market Earthzine’s content; Markets Earthzine subscription and earthzine paid submissions to individuals and organizations.

Editor-in-Chief (when Editor in Chief is vacant, board of Directors take on these responsibilities)

  • Responsible for overall management of the site, staff and volunteers;
  • Responsible for Earthzine content, design and publication;
  • Recruits and coordinates contributions and participation of volunteer staff;
  • Works with Associate Editors to select and plan thematic content for upcoming publications;
  • Establishes teams to develop content for themes.

Content Manager

  • Responsible for managing content on site and posting new content.
  • Acts as Syndication Editor, posting articles daily from a variety of sources.
  • Updates Resources and Events pages;
  • Posts submitted original articles after final editing;
  • Special assignments on request.

Theme Editor

  • Prepare the aim of the theme, including wordings, or adopt an existing one;
  • Plan and manage timeline for theme (earlier it would last a quarter);Solicit and Coordinate submissions for thematic content to the theme;
  • Form teams (Associate Editors and contributors) to develop, submit and edit content;
  • Coordinate participation of contributing editors, find reviewers, and divide editorial assignments amongst the available editors ;
  • Work with editor to get the articles till publishing stage

Associate Editors: Role involves promoting the reputation and reach of Earthzine, engaging writers and getting reviews done for articles submitted. This includes the following:

  • Solicit potential authors to submit articles to Earthzine. Oceans conferences are an ideal venue for this.
  • Coordinate submissions for thematic content to upcoming publications
  • Periodically cover Oceans/Earth science related events and conferences and summarizing them into coverage articles. The events can include OES events such as Oceans conferences, or any other conferences of relevant area.
  • Manage the review and editing of articles submitted by other authors to Earthzine, by finding reviewers to review submitted articles for which you are the handling editor. This may involve you having to review the article briefly as well, especially if a copyediting review is required.
  • Take up potential future themes and soliciting submissions for those as Theme editors (see below).
  • Coordinate with other volunteers on activities.
  • Contribute to all aspects of web content.